Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Anyone Can Cast Spells (via Ritual Magic) Option (OSR)

Anyone Can Cast Spells Option
For my OSR Mythos and Sword and Sorcery games I decided to come up with an option where anyone, regardless of class, can attempt to cast a spell via ritual magic. It also allows spellcasting classes a chance to cast spells of higher levels they have acquired.

The normal considerations of ritual magic apply.

For non-spellcasters to cast a Spell (or spellcasters to cast a spell above their current level or a spell not yet learned with a spell slot) the following steps must be achieved:

1. The Spell must be found or taught.
Grimoires, scrolls, writings carved on walls, mad hermits, magical lodges, etc.

2. The Spell must be in a format the caster can understand.
This could be being translated from an ancient language to one the caster understand or verbally taught by a teacher.

3. Learning how to cast the spell takes eight hours per spell level. A fifth level spell would take forty hours of study and practice to learn.

4. Casting requires time. Ten minutes per spell level. A fifth level Spell takes fifty minutes minimum to cast. The DM may require materials to be used as well.
The main cost of this type of casting is time. Time can be incredibly valuable in a dungeon or during a Mythos incident.

5. The Casting Roll.
To actually cast the Spell requires an Int check with a penalty equal to the Spell Level. A character with an Int of 13 attempts to cast the fifth level spell. The Spell will succeed if he rolls a 1-8 on a 1d20.

Extra casting time can increase this chance. For each full casting time increment past the minimum the caster can add a + 2 to the roll.
Four times the minimum is the most that this method can be used.
For the fifth level spell: if the time taken is 50 minutes the roll is still an 8.
If 100 minutes is taken the roll is now 10.
For 150 Minutes the roll is 12.
For 200 minutes the roll is 14.

If the Casting Roll fails:
Time and consumable materials are lost. The caster can attempt the Spell again with an additional -4 penalty to the total Casting Roll or he can wait 24 hours and avoid this penalty.

Multiple Casters:
The person leading the ritual uses his Casting Roll. For each additional caster add a +1 to the roll. The maximum bonus is equal to the Spell's level. The fifth level Spell would have a maximum of a +5 bonus no matter how many actually participated in the ritual.

Used in conjunction with extra casting time this option can really increase the chance of the casting roll's success.

Warrior Bard (OSR)

Warrior Bard (Minstrel, Skald, etc)
Prime Requ: Cha
Exp: As Magic User
HD: 1d6+2
Save: as Thief
Attack: As Fighter
Weapons: Any.
Armor: Leather and shield to use thief abilities.

Thief Abilities.
Climb Walls, Detect Noise, and  Pick Pockets as a thief of equivalent level.

Extra Languages.
The Bard  begins with half again as many extra languages as normal (round up.) For example: if the Bard  would normally get one extra, he would get two (1.5 rounded up). If he would get two extra he would get three, etc.

Read Language.
This is an important ability since words are the meat and drink of Bard s and the Warrior Bard  has no ready access to Read Language spells. He has an  80% chance to read any normal writing or language (including simple codes, dead languages, treasure maps, and so on, but not magical writings). If he tries but fails to read apiece of writing, he must gain at least one experience level before trying to read it again.

Influence Reactions.
When performing before a group that is not attacking (and not intending to attack in just seconds), the Bard  can try to alter the mood of the listeners. He can try to soften their mood or make it uglier. The method can be whatever is most suitable to the situation at the moment -- a fiery speech, collection of jokes, a sad tale, a fine tune played on a fiddle, a haunting lute melody, or a heroic song from the old homeland. Everyone in the group listening must roll a Saving Throw (vs Paralyzation in LL, etc) (if the crowd is large, make saving throws for groups of people using average hit dice). The die roll is modified by -1 for every three experience levels of the Bard  (round fractions down). If the Saving Throw fails the group's reaction can be shifted one level toward either the friendly or hostile end of the scale, at the player's option. Those who make a successful Saving Throw have their reaction shifted one level toward the opposite end of the scale.

The music, poetry, and stories of the Bard can also be inspirational, rallying friends and allies. If the exact nature of an impending threat is known, the Bard  can heroically inspire his companions (immortalizing them in word and song), granting a +1 bonus to attack rolls, or a +1 bonus to Saving Throws, or a +2 bonus to morale (particularly useful in large battles) to those involved in melee. The Bard  must spend at least three full rounds singing or reciting before the battle begins. This affects those within a range of 10 feet per experience level of the Bard .

The effect lasts one round per level. Once the effect wears off it can't be renewed if the recipients are still in battle. However, troops who have withdrawn from combat can be inspired again by the Bard 's words. A troop of soldiers, inspired by Cwell, could charge into battle. After fighting a fierce fight, they retreat and the enemy does not pursue.
Cwell, seeing them crestfallen and dispirited, once again rouses their will to fight. Reinvigorated, they charge back into battle with renewed spirit

Finally, Bards learn a little bit of everything in their studies and travels. Bards have a 5% chance per experience level to know local events and history. They also use the same chance to identify the general purpose and function of any magical item. The Bard  need not handle the item but must examine it closely taking 1d10 rounds. Even if successful, the exact function of the item is not revealed, only its general nature. Since Cwell the Fine is 2nd level, he has a 10% chance to know something about a magical sword +1. If he succeeds, he knows whether the sword is cursed and whether it has an alignment ("This sword was used by the evil warrior Lurdas. I wouldn't touch it if I were you!"). This ability does not enable him to identify the sword's exact properties, only its history and background. He has no idea of its bonuses or penalties or any special magical powers, except as can be inferred from the histories.

Level 10: A Bard  can read and cast magic from magic-user (and elf) scrolls with 90% accuracy, just like a thief.

Magical Items:
Bard s may employ any magical weapons not specifically restricted to a single class (of course, the weapon must be of a type Bards can normally use). They may wear magical armor of the type appropriate to their armor restrictions. They may also use all other magic items usable by Fighters and Thieves and may use a Horn of Valhalla.

Hounds of Tindalos and Miri Nigri (OSR)

Two Mythos races I was asked to build for the upcoming new version of Petty Gods.

The Hounds of Tindalos 
No. Enc.:  1d4+2
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30')
Fly/Swim:  240' (80')
Armor Class:  4
Hit points (HD): 25hp (5 HD)
Attacks: tongue attack
Damage: 1d8 dmg + Special
Save: F5
Morale: 12  
Hoard Class: None
XP:  920

The Hounds of Tindalos live millions of years in the past occupying the angles of existence whereas normal life inhabit the curves of space and time. They are utterly alien to life as we know it and are vicious predators of both ethereal vapor and strange matter. They do not communicate; they only hunt and destroy. If an entity physically or mentally travels to the distant past of these creatures he risks attracting their attention and inevitably becomes hunted through time and space.

The Hounds are a fearsome enemy. They are not easily defeated.  
Travel Through Angles
The Hounds travel through time and space using angles in our reality as doorways: any angle such as corners of rooms, ceilings, doorways, etc. The angle does not have to be large as the Hound assumes a vaporous form to travel through the angle gateways, but it must be sufficiently angled: at least 120 degrees.

When entering and exiting an angle gateway the Hound stretches and becomes vaporous. It takes three rounds to completely pour itself through and reform on the other side of an angle. 

While vaporous it can only be hit by magic weapons and spells. 

Flawless Track
Once they Hounds take notice of an individual they can track him unerringly across time and space. They will arrive at the victim's time and location at the DM's discretion and their arrival will be announced by the pouring of an ethereal vapor or smoke pouring from the angles they are sliding into that dimension through. They are tireless in their pursuit and do not give up.

Blue Ichor 
The Hound exude a thick blue ichor or pus from their bodies. This ichor, covering their body in sufficient quantities
, allows the Hound to regenerate 2 hp per round. If the Hound is submerged, lit afire, or some other means is used to wipe the coating from the Hound it does not regenerate until the blue ichor reforms over enough of their bodies. It takes 1d4 +2 rounds to sufficiently reform for regeneration.

If the Hound is grappled or the blue ichor comes into contact with a living being not from the Hound's existence the victim must make a Saving Throw vs Poison or lose 1d4 hit points. This effect lasts for 1d6 rounds and the victim gets a Saving Throw each round to avoid damage. The blue ichor can be wiped or washed off taking a full round to do so. 

Tongue Attack
The tongue of a Hound is a horrific thing allowing it to attack creatures withing 10' of its position. In addition to normal damage the Tongue drains vital fluids and life force from the victim, causing horrific wounds in its wake. 

There are two ways a DM can interpret this ability, depending on the level of lethality they wish to inject into their game. 

The first option is a Level Drain: 
The classic feared and permanent method of harming the foolish or unlucky.

The second option is a Constitution Drain: 
1d4 Constitution is lost per hit. The character is dead at 0 Constitution.
No hit points can be healed until all of the Constitution damage is healed. Constitution can be healed at the rate of one point per week of total rest. Healing magic will heal one point of Constitution per healing dice involved plus any modifiers. 
(Example: a spell healing 1d6+1 hit points would heal two Constitution points.)

Miri Nigri 
No. Enc.:  2d6+4
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30')
 Armor Class:  6 
Hit pts. (HD):  9 hp (2HD)
Attacks:  2 claws 
Damage: 1d3 each
Save: F2
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None. All treasure is for Chaugnar Faugn.
XP: 50

The Miri Nigri are a dwarfish race of inhuman servants,dark skinned with toadish features. They are tireless in serving their creator and god, the slumbering Chaugnar Faugn. They are sent forth to steal men and women for the vampiric hunger of their god.

The subterranean  Miri Nigri have infravision of 90'. 
Their dark coloration, natural stealthiness and small stature give them an advange when surprising opponents. They surprise on a 1-4 on a 1d6.  Their amphibious nature also allows them this bonus when in water.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New and Revised Classes for OSR games. Plus a tiny bit of notation.

I had a guy flip out on me a couple of weeks past over 'game balance' with my postings.
So, to help clarify things, I will be posting  extra notes for classes I put on here.

The notations will involve differences in class abilities for situations in games (such as the Archer addressing game using two shots per round versus one shot per round as a basic system rule).
The distinction between the two will be pretty minimal, mostly adjustments to class abilities such as multi-attacks, special damage attacks, etc. The notations are to give a DM whom might use these classes a chance to use which version they think more appropriate for the 'balance' of their game.
Balance... such a tricky thing it can be. I've honestly never worried much about it. I've been blessed with players who are more concerned with fun than rules lawyering. 

I will also address  my revised versions of the basic classes such as my Fighter/Soldier vs the old school Fighter. My revised version gets extra attacks, and AC bonus, and extra attacks at higher levels. My revised versions are more skilled and 'powerful' than the standard classic classes and are, for the most part, intended to be used in place of the base rules classes. 

Some do not find this 'old school hardcore' but I and my players really really like their characters to be a bit more competent. That's also why I replaced the lower percentages of classes such as the Thief with my 10+1/2 level+ attribute bonus or less on a 1d20 roll. It gives them a higher chance at lower levels and mildly increases through leveling up. Again: just my preferences. Don't like it: replace it with the old school percentages. Your game, your rules.

As always, these are just my personal interpretations for my own games. 
Don't flip out. 

And so....
I also took the time to clean up the classes a bit. Prime Requisites are simplified to just one instead of two in some cases. I also removed and added a a few new abilities to help smooth the classes into more distinct roles.
For example, this version of the Assassin has less Thief skills but has gained the use of making poisons and antidotes.


Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d6+1
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Up to chain and shield.
Weapons: Any except two-handed melee.
Level Limit: none.

Archer Training. 
+1 to hit with a bow. The damage works one of two ways. If you are using a rules-set allowing two bow shots per round, the damage is increased by a +1. If you are only allowing one shot per round (and it's probably a 1d6 dmg) the damage increases to 1d8
No penalty for unstable platform such as a horse, rolling ship deck, etc.

Sure Shot. 
-1 per range increment. 

Level 5: Long Shot. 
Range Increment increases by 50 percent.

Level 9: 
Rapid Shot. An extra bow attack is gained. 

Level 12: Trick Shot. 
Called shot penalties reduced by -2.

Level 16: Dead Shot. 
Aim for one round and receive a +4 bonus to one shot. Only one shot can be taken in that round.
NOTES: The only real difference in editions with this class is the differing number of bow shots allowed in a round. 


Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD:  1d6
Save:  As Thief.
Attack:  As Thief
Armor:  As Thief.
Weapons:  Any.
Level Limit:  none.

Thief Abilities. 
Pick Locks, Move Silently, Climb Walls, Hide in Shadow.

Death Attack. (completely copped from C&C)
If an assassin studies a victim for 3 rounds and makes a
sneak attack (see below) that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack can potentially kill the target instantly. While studying a victim prior to an attack, the assassin can undertake other minor actions, but must stay focused on the target. If the target knows the assassin is present, a death attack is not possible. The victim of such an attack must make a saving
throw. If the saving throw fails, the victim dies instantly. If the saving throw
succeeds, the attack is treated as a normal sneak attack.

After completing 3 rounds of study, the assassin must attack within the
next 3 rounds to use this ability. If a death attack is attempted and fails
because the victim succeeds at the saving throw, the assassin cannot make
another attempt at a death attack in this circumstance because the victim
will almost certainly be aware of the assassin’s status as an enemy. If the
assassin attacks and misses (and the target is not aware of the attack), or
if the assassin does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing
the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before another death attack
attempt can be made.

NOTE: If you feel the Death Attack is too powerful for your games scale it back to a standard Thief backstab. Combined with the Poisons ability below the Assassin should still be a formidable class.

Given an hour of brew time, and the proper ingredients  the Assassin can create a virulent poisons. The poison can be ingested, contact, or injected as the Assassin desires. At first level the Assassin's poison does 1d6 hp damage and an extra 1d6 at levels 3, 9, 12, 15, and 18. The poison is insidious and slow; starting one hour after exposure it does 1d6 damage per hour until the available d6's of poison are used or the victim is dead. A Saving Throw is allowed during the initial 1d6 hp loss and if successful, all damage done is for half damage as the poison runs its course.

The Assassin can also make an antidote for the poison. When given it stops all damage.

Both poison and antidote have a shelf life of a number of days equal to the Assassin's level.

NOTES: This version sets itself further from the classic Thief class. This one is all about stealth and  murder and lacks many of the essential treasure finding skills of the Thief.

Barbarian (Hillman) 

Prime Requ: Str
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d6+2
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Chain and shield. May wear heavier but lose special abilities while in the heavier armor.
Weapons: Any
Level Limit: none.

+2 to melee and unarmed Damage.

Pantherish Dodge. 
+2 to AC

Only surprised on a 1 on a 1d6.

As Thief.

Battle Fury. 
The Barbarian can make a single brutal attack on his opponent, sacrificing accuracy and finesse for sheer damage.  The attack is made at a -2 penalty to hit. If failed the Barbarian suffers a -4 to his AC due to being off balance until his turn to act in the following round. Damage as follows...

Basic rules damage: x2 damage, x3 if a natural 20 is rolled.

My Revised rules damage: It is scaled as backstab damage is for the Thief, by level.
Level 1-5, x2 damage.
Level 6-12, x3 damage.
Level 12+, x4 damge

NOTE: The damage is scaled up in my revised version to keep up with the soldier's extra attacks. The idea is the Soldier is using more skill with multiple chances (extra attacks) to hit the enemy while the Barbarian is dishing out sheer brutal damage with one shot, but only has one chance to hit or miss.

The Brute 
For Basic rules use the Brute as is.
My Revised version does Crusher damage as the Barbarian's Battle Fury. Escalating damage by level.

The attack is made at a -2 penalty to hit. If failed the Brute suffers a -4 to his AC due to being off balance until his turn to act in the following round. 
Level 1-5, x2 damage.
Level 6-12, x3 damage.
Level 12+, x4 damge

NOTE: These Brute's Str bonus applies to Str rolls not just damage as the Barbarian's does.
Whereas the Barbarian is about prowess combined with power the Brute is simply raw power. He has the advantage of slightly better hit points and does not lose his abilities in heavier armor.

Fighter/Soldier (Revised) 

Prime Requ: Str
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: As Fighting-Man.
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Any.
Weapons: Any
Level Limit: none.

Trained/Natural Fighter.
 +1 to hit and damage with all weapons and unarmed attacks.

+2 to AC.

Combat Expert.
Extra melee attack at 5th, 12th, and 20th.
NOTE: Melee only, not ranged. 

NOTE: This is my revised  Fighter and it will outstrip Basic rules classes. I would not use this with anything but my other revised classes to keep the fighting levels on a closer scale.

Ranger (Traditional Fantasy) 

Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d6+2
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Chain and shield. Will lose Move Silently while in armor heavier than Leather.
Weapons: Any
Level Limit: none.

Only surprised on a 1 on a 1d6.

As a Thief of equal level. Ranged backstab within the first range increment.

+1 to hit and damage with ranged weapons. Includes bows, crossbows, thrown weapons, firearms, etc.

Move Silently.
As Thief. This is for outdoors only. In urban settings, crypts, dungeons, etc the chance is halved (round up.) The Ranger uses this to get in close to a prey while on the hunt.
This is halved if the Ranger is wearing armor heavier than Leather.

 10 + 1/2 level + Wis bonus or less on a 1d20. Penalties and bonuses for mud, snow, dry ground, etc should be applied by the DM. 

Revisions to the Cleric, Magic User, and Thief.
Cleric and Magic User
Make my ritual and diabolic magic options available.

I have only one addition to my Revised Thieves: The Fast Talk ability.

Fast Talk
With a bit of conversation, the Thief is able to attempt to befriend, persuade, charm, or outright con an individual to his way of thinking. After 2d6 minutes of cajoling, flat­tering, drinking, etc. the victim of the Fast Talk must make a Saving Throw. This Saving Throw has a cumulative -1 penalty roll for the Scoundrel level at 1st and every fourth level after at 4, 8, 12 ,16, and 20.

If the Save is failed the individual will give up some bit of information, do a small favor, or otherwise not hinder the Thief as long as the Thief appears to be friendly. This is not a magical effect: if the individual finds out the Thief is lying to him or some other situation arises to change his view of the Thief he may act normally.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Frankenstein's Monster...the Original Novel Creature (OSR)

"It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! -- Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips."

The Frankenstein Monster (The Monster, The Creature)
Created from the assembled pieces of corpses and brought to life by a process of mixing natural science with alchemy....

This build is for the Original Shelly character. The Creature is far more powerful than those I have written to be used as PC's in my Created class. The original Frankenstein Monster is a unique entity;  spawned in the  terrible brilliant mind of a madman it is the first, the prototype of a new and horrific superior race which never came to be.

"Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil, as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave, or tortured the living animal, to animate the lifeless clay? My limbs now tremble and my eyes swim with the remembrance; but then a resistless, and almost frantic, impulse urged me forward; I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit. It was indeed but a passing trance that only made me feel with renewed acuteness so soon as, the unnatural stimulus ceasing to operate, I had returned to my old habits. I collected bones from charnel-houses; and disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame. In a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase, I kept my workshop of filthy creation: my eye-balls were starting from their sockets in attending to the details of my employment. The dissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many of my materials; and often did my human nature turn with loathing from my occupation, whilst, still urged on by an eagerness which perpetually increased, I brought my work near to a conclusion."

The Frankenstein Monster/Creature
"CURSED, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants, and have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery."
HD: 12
Str 18 +3
Dex 17 +2
Con 18 +3
Int 16 +2
Wis 13 +1
Chs 0 (See below)

HP: 90
AC: 15
Save: 8
Attack: +12 melee (two attacks per round)
Damage: Unarmed (1d2+7) or melee weapon (dmg+7)

"I suddenly beheld the figure of a man, at some distance, advancing towards me with superhuman speed. He bounded over the crevices in the ice, among which I had walked with caution; his stature, also, as he approached, seemed to exceed that of man. I was troubled: a mist came over my eyes, and I felt a faintness seize me; but I was quickly restored by the cold gale of the mountains. I perceived, as the shape came nearer (sight tremendous and abhorred!) that it was the wretch whom I had created. I trembled with rage and horror, resolving to wait his approach, and then close with him in mortal combat. He approached; his countenance bespoke bitter, anguish, combined with disdain and malignity, while its unearthly ugliness rendered it almost too horrible for human eyes. "

Superior to Man:
Eight feet tall and built for hideous strength, endurance and flexibility.
The Creature gains a +4  (in addition to its  normal Strength bonus) to all  melee and unarmed damage rolls, as well as to attempts to open doors. The +4 is also used as a bonus to any Strength attribute checks.

The Frankenstein Monster only takes half damage from non-magical weapons.
The Creature only takes 1/4 damage from cold (0 damage with a successful saving throw.)
It saves with a +4 bonus vs poison and disease.

The Monster heals at an astonishing rate; with full rest it regains 24 hp per day. It active it still regains 12 hp per day.

With its massive stride and superior muscle The Creature moves faster than an ordinary man; movement is 150' (50').
The Creature gains a +4 bonus to climb and stealth checks.

The Monster does not age. Unless killed by trauma or other bodily affliction it is effectively immortal.

Because of its grotesque and unnatural appearance the Frankenstein Monster  is shunned by normal men and women who are horrified by it. It effectively has a Charisma of 0 when dealing with normal people, even allies. This may be overcome given time and actions by the Creature.

Ragged Clothing.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Victorian Gothic Playlog: London 1896 (OSR)

Our current Game!
We finished two nights of a Victorian OSR game I am DM'ing.
We are using the firearms rules, Victorian setting and classes, and everything else I have posted so far on here.

The Set Up
Three Players: One Scoundrel (James), One Explorer (Rene'), and One Physician (Edward). All fifth level. James and Rene' are both very wealthy. The Physician is not nearly so.
They are members of the Explorer's Club and have some reputation as explorers of the supernatural and strange.
Their base is in a three  story home owned by James right off the heart of downtown London, inherited from is father.
They motor around London in a steam powered horseless carriage.

Two bodies have turned up last night in alleyways in Whitechapel; both unidentified.
The PC's are called to meet with Inspector Aaron Copeland and the Coroner at the Whitechapel morgue beneath the Records building to view the bodies and consult the police.

After the events in Dracula and the player's former PC's exploits in London the existence of the supernatural is known to a select few Inspectors and Higher Ups in the London Authorities. When suspicious situations crop up members of the Explorer's Club and independant consultants are often called in to assist. The objective is to solve the crime, keep the public as unaware as possible, and protect the city.
The last thing they want is another Ripper panic as what happened when Jack the Ripper roamed the streets eight years past.

They are also informed that another consultant, a Dr. John Seward, will be arriving tomorrow.

The Corpses 
A female, probable prostitute (signs of a hard life, liquor, bad teeth, syphalis) with her left arm, clavicle, and scapula completely and surgically removed.

Two alleyways over a male, probably a Doctor or attendant, (well dressed, good teeth, no ink on hands, traces of powder under the nails) with two large puncture wounds in the neck; blood severly drained.

No identification or money on either body.

The Investigation
The PC's begin with Edward examining the bodies, confirming the Coroner's findings. He then heads to the local medical school to inquire about any new surgeons in town. That draws a zero but he does learn that distinguished surgeon Henry Frankenstein is in London to give a lecture on anatomy in two days.
James looks for anyone who might know the woman in Whitechapel but comes up empty for now.
Rene' has an artist make a detailed sketch of the woman's face to assist in the street questioning.
He then heads to the alleys where the corpses were found. Nothing is discernible in the female corpse's alley. However in the male corpse's alley the Explorer finds a gold cufflink in the trash near where the body was found. It has a stylized ankh on the face and the back has a jeweler's mark. "CM"

As night falls they meet up and retire for a meal, a drink, and cigars at the Explorer's Club.
Edward and Rene' enter the Club's library and begin to research vampire lore.
James employs a clipping agency to find any info on new surgeons or doctors in the city and all jewelers with the initials CM then returns to the Club.

Having learned basic lore on vampires (the Stoker archetype) they call Inspector Copeland, warning him that the male corpse may wake as a vampire. He takes two men and head off to the morgue.
He never calls back. The PC's decide to head to the morgue to see what has happened.
They head off in the horseless carriage.

The Morgue
The Police station is lit up and is business as usual.
The Records building/morgue is dark as it is closed for business for the night. No sign of Copeland or his men.
Really concerned about the possible vampire corpse they park the horseless carriage in the side street behind the morgue and James picks the lock on the back receiving doors.

Retrieving an electric lantern from the auto they head into the dark hallway leading to the front of the building. Wooden office doors with large smoked windows are spaced down the hallway. The try the electric light switch but no response: power must have been cut. The primitive lantern only shines out to about 20 feet. James and Rene' pull knives and take the lead with the light. Edward, armed with a lever-action carbine takes the rear.

Heading towards the front of building they come to a cross hallway.
Suddenly a black clad thief with a scarf over his lower face steps out and takes a stab at James.
A nasty knife fight ensues with the thief taking the worst of it.
As this is happening two more thieves appear from out of the darkness ahead of the Rene'. He sits his lantern down and engages one of the thieves with his push dagger, both men score hits stabbing each other deeply.
Edward opens fire and misses the third thief, shattering glass in the front door clear down the long hallway.

A lantern is lit down by the front doors. A fourth thief is seen with a lantern.
The knife fights continue.
Edward let's loose with two more shots from the carbine. The third thief takes a bullet through the head and the second shot misses the thief with the lantern down the hall.

Gunshots are heard outside as someone opens up on the front of the police station. (A diversion.)

The wounded thief fighting James has had enough and retreats down the side hallway. James lets him go.
The wounded thief fighting Rene' takes a deep knife wound to the neck and collapses.
The lantern thief takes off running towards the stairwell down to the morgue, disappearing from sight.

Rene' and James pull pistols and run down the dark hallway, not taking time to grab their lantern. Heading past the fallen thieves they see both wear a medallion: the same stylized ankh as on the cufflink.
Rene' lights a match and they head cautiously down the stairs to the morgue.

The Physician on the other hand leaps to the side of the slowly die-ing thief that Rene' jacked up.
He manages to stabilize him and heal him up to zero hp's. Aha! A prisoner. In a coma...

Meanwhile, down at the morgue door: the two heroes see a faint lantern glow behind the smokey glass.
Cautiously opening the door, they see the last thief pounding a wooden stake through the heart of the male corpse lying on the slab. Not wanting to interfere, they cautiously watch as the thief then saws the man's head off.

Ignoring the female corpse with the missing arm the thief then faces the PC's.
They try to initiate conversation (hey we're hunters too!) when he whips up a Mauser pistol and threatens to shoot them if they don't leave.
After a bit of tenseness they back out the door.
They hear the thief hightail it out the back way of the morgue, light extinguished.

The PC's rendezvous upstairs.
Things have quieted down outside as the cops are out in force looking for the men who shot the windows out of the police station.

They dump the unconscious thief in the automobile and make a search of the building.
They find Inspector Copeland and his two men, fang marks in necks, nearly drained of blood, in the land records office. They quickly take them out to give them aid. As they are leaving they notice some of the land records have been rifled, bloody hand prints on drawers and a bloody thumbprint on a half drawn folder.

After checking in with the police they get the cops to leave the crime scene at the records office alone until the party an investigate and they inform them Copeland and they two officers will be cared for.
They then head back to their house.
The wounded police are carefully watched for signs of vampirism and tended for in a bedroom on the third floor.
In the basement the unconscious thief is handcuffed to  bed and cared for as well.

They stay up til dawn making plans. James telephones the police station and have them direct Dr. Seward, when he arrives there, to come to the PC's house.
When the butler and  maid awake the PC's go to sleep for four hours, awaking at ten pm to eat and freshen up.

Day Two
The clipping agency agent delivers their report: no news of. a new surgeon or clinic. There are four jewelers in London with the initials CM but the most likely is Cedric Miller in Lambeth.

Dr. Seward arrives.
Cards and quick pleasantries are exchanged as the PC's tell their tale. Seward then relates his involvement with the Dracula incident three years earlier. Assisted by Edward, Seward examines the policemen. Their relatives are contacted for a blood transfusion and they are made comfortable. The thief is still in a coma. After explaining the precautions against a vampire (garlic, crosses, mirrors) Seward takes leave of the PC's to settle into his hotel. He will meet with them later that evening.

More Investigations
The PC's head out to check on a few things.
As they do Rene' glimpses what he thinks is a large figure in black watching them from the rooftops.
Spooked, they head back inside to get their rifles. The butler is instructed to carry out the vampire proofing of the house. They stop at a local gunshop and purchase more ammo and another heavy rifle.

Rene' and James head to the jewelry shop of Cedric Miller. Cards are given. He identifies the ankh cufflink as his work. He made four pair for a Mr. Corben, address unknown. The description of the man who placed the order and came to retrieve it was given: short, red hair, freckled, rumpled clothing. It was doubtful his was Mr. Corben himself. He also viewed the ankh necklace and found an Egyptian mark on the back, probably the jeweler's mark.
The boys then headed to the British Museum where James managed to sweet talk his way past a receptionist to get five minutes with a Professor Anderson, Egyptologist. More cards are exchanged. He confirmed that the mark and the stylized ankh were symbols of a minor cult which had flourished in Cairo in the 1830's but had though to have died out over twenty years ago. He eagerly agreed to view any more objects they might find.
They then spend the rest of the afternoon getting copies of the prostitute's drawing, having tea in a small park, and walking around Whitechapel. They hit paydirt at the Ten Bells Tavern. A group of pimps know the girl as Anna, missing two days now. She was last seen getting into the carriage of a white haired gentlemen over by Stepney.
Drinks were had all around.

Edward, meanwhile, headed back to the medical college see if anything new was happening. He discovered a body had been stolen from the college. It was all very hush hush. He then ran into Henry Frankenstein in the library, reading and anatomy book and sitting next to his medical bag. Frankenstein looked startled to see Edward, he obviously recognized him though they had never met. Edward came up and made introductions and small talk, looking forward to the lecture. Frankenstein concluded the meeting by asking him if he knew of a Dr. Emil Pretoreus, of Germany, in the city. Edward did not and they parted ways with Edward heading off to study updated medical texts.
Edward noted that Dr. Frankenstein's bag appeared to contain much bulkier equipment than normal medical tools.

Later Edward received a call from the Whitechapel police station.
The body of the beheaded man had been claimed for burial.
Edward immediately headed to the station and found the following: One Dr. Pretoreus, with a letter of introduction from the Royal Surgeon's College, had collected the deceased: Andrew Kaufman, medical assistant. Kaufman had a home address in Walworth, across the bridge.

Leaving the station he headed off to find his colleagues.
He didn't make it past the dark alleyway near the station: A gigantic yellowed hand wrapped in a ragged coat reached out and yanked him into the alleyway.
Lifted into the air he faced a 7 foot tall, yellow-eyed and cadaver pallored face with black lips and snarling teeth. The bald gaunt head was covered in surgical scars.
The ragged black clad creature told him point blank to stop investigating Dr. Pretoreus or he would die.
He then hurled him out of the alley and ran away with incredible speed.

He soon found his housemates.
Edward mentioned nothing of the warning, only of the information about Dr. Pretoreus and Andrew Kaufman's address.

They stopped at the records office on their way home. They had been given access to the office where they had found the bloody hand and thumb prints on the records. Nothing had been touched by the police.
They discover that the file hanging out of the drawer is for a property, a house, in Stepney.
It was sold to a Mr. Corben. The solicitor was one RM Renfield, the same solicitor whom helped Dracula buy property around London before going mad and being replaced by Jonathan Harker.

Night Visitor
They regroup at dusk at their house, now decorated with garlic, crosses, and mirrors.
Dr. Seward and family members of the policemen arrive and the blood transfusions begin in the third floor bedrooms. After several hours the policemen feel better and the family members are sent home. Inspector Copeland's pistol is returned to him.

As they are discussing the case and tending to the policemen's meal Rene' and Seward both hear a loud thump on the peaked tiled roof. The sound was loud enough to be heard through the attic above them.

Rene' grabs his elephant gun and pulls down the attic trap door, squirming into the large junk filled room.
James has the butler bring him his shotgun and opens a window.
Edward grabs a poker and begins heating it in the fire.

Rene' hears something big walking above him on the roof. He reaches up and knocks on the wood.
A large hole is smashed in the roof and tiles as a large yellow hand reaches down for him.
Rene' fires and misses with ihs first barrel. The yellow-eyed cadaverous face sneers as him through the hole.

Suddenly a loud shot rings out from a nearby alley. The Creature is hit with a massive slug in it's side, knocking it sideways with a roar. It attempts to flee but Rene' blasts it in the hip with the second barrel of the elephant rifle. With a howl it runs across the slanted roof and leaps the ten feet to the neighbors roof.

James sees the Creature leap across the way and blasts it with his shotgun. The furious and severly wounded Creature slips in his own blood on the neighbors slanted tile roof and falls three stories to the cobblestones, disappearing from sight.

Rene' pulls himself onto the roof, reloading his rifle.
James looks down and sees Henry Frankenstein coming out of the alley reloading a massive howdah pistol. James hollers that the Creature fell on the other side of the neighbors building.
Frankenstein nods and heads that way.

Rene' leaps across the alley onto the neighbors roof, slick with dark blood. He looks down but the Creature is gone, leaving a massive quantity of blood on the cobblestones. Frankenstein is there and wishes to talk to the PC's. Rene' agrees and makes his way back across to their own roof.

Meeting with Frankenstein, who requests a brandy, he tells his story:
He and Pretoreous were colleagues in Europe. Travelling to his family's castle they discovered a hidden copy of his ancestor, Victor Frankenstein's journal. Pretoreous poisoned Henry and fled with the journal and it's secrets.
Henry Frankenstein has hunted Pretoreous for over a year. Knowing he would return to London where he studied, Frankenstein has come to kill him, any Creature Pretoreous has created, and destroy the journal and notes once and for all.

He knows nothing about Dracula, Mr. Corben, nor any of the others.
He has been staking out the PC's house when they became involved with the dead prostitute case. That's how he recognized Edward and he saw the Creature following them during the day. He waited to trap and kill it.

And that's where we ended for now.
A Vampire. Frankenstein. A Cult. And two houses to check out.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Frankenstein Monster, Universal/Karloff Archetype. (OSR)

"Yes, I know. Made me from dead. I love dead... hate living." - The Monster
Bride of Frankenstein (1939)

The standard Flesh Golem just doesn't do justice to the Monster. He deserves better, especially for my Victorian games. And, of course, I enjoy seeing how my OSR classes and races can be used to do this. Therefore....
This build is for the Universal/Karloff archetype using my Created Race found HERE and Soldier Class as the default combat class found HERE.

I will be doing a Shelly/original Monster write-up soon. That one is outside the range of my Created Race and to get the true flavor of the original Creature it will be a standard Monster format with differing abilities.

The Frankenstein Monster
Created Soldier 10
Str 16 +2
Dex 17 +2
Con 15 +1
Int 13 +1
Wis 13 +1
Chs 0 (See below)

HP: 55
AC: 14 (+2 Dex,+2 Soldier)
Save:  5
Attack: +10 melee, +10 ranged (two attacks per round)
Damage: Unarmed (1d2+6) or melee weapon (dmg+6)

+1 to hit and +1 damage with firearms and melee weapons, including unarmed attacks.
+2 AC
Extra Attack: At level 5

The Created do not age.

Inhuman Strength:
The massive bodies of the Created are frighteningly strong. To reflect this it gains a +3  (in addition to their normal Strength bonus) to all  melee and unarmed damage rolls, as well as to attempts to open doors. The +3 is also used as a bonus to any Strength attribute checks.

Iron Constitution:
Due to their inherit toughness the Created only take 1/2 damage from cold (1/4 with a successful saving throw.)

Massive Stride:
Due to their long stride and muscle they move faster than an ordinary man. They move at a 15.

Spark of Life:
Part of the resurrection of the Created involves massive jolts of electricity. This life spark has allowed them to regenerate damage when struck with electricity.They receive one hp up to their maximum total hp's for every dice of electrical damage done to them.

Fear of Fire:
A deep primal fear of fire still lurks in the resurrected dead brains of the Created. When confronted with fire as a weapon or a massive wall of flame the creature must make a saving throw. Success allows it to act normally but with a -2 penalty to all actions. Failure causes it to go Berserk sending it into a mindless rage attacking those who wish to hurt it or get in its way.  While berserk the creature receives a +2 bonus to hit/damage with melee weapons, a -2 penalty with ranged weapons, and a -2 penalty to AC. Once the attacker is dead or the creature has managed to flee the wall of fire it can make another saving throw to calm down and not attack anyone in its way. The creature makes this saving throw check each round til it comes out of the rage.

Because of its grotesque and unnatural appearance the Created is shunned by normal men and women who are horrified by it. It effectively has a Charisma of 0 when dealing with normal people, even allies. This may be overcome given time and actions by the Created's actions.

Ragged Clothing. Ragged long coat. Boots.